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Full text of "Soviets in Spain : the October armed uprising against fascism"

Soviets In Spain: The 

October Armed 

Uprising Against 

Fascism 






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SOVIETS 
C&\3 IN SPAIN 



THE OCTOBER ARMED 
UPRISING A6AINST FASCISM 



BY HARRY CANNES 

»Oc 



COMMUNISM VS. SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY 

• 

THE FEBRUARY STRUGGLE 
IN AUSTRIA and ITS LESSONS 

By BELA KUN 

An analysis of the armed struggle of the 
Austrian working class against the on- 
slaught of fascism, with special emphasis 
on the policies of social-democracy which 
lead to defeat. 

15 CENTS A COPY 

o 

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The Historic Congress of the Bolshevik 
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How the Bolsheviks, in the period of pre- 
paration for the seizure of power, ham- 
mered out the correct political and tac- 
tical line, which led to the victory of the 
proletarian revolution. 
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SOVIETS 



IN 



SPAIN 



The October Armed Uprising 
Against Fascism 



BY 
HARRY GANNES 



WORKERS LIBRARY PUBLISHERS 



Of 

25' 7 



Published by 

Workers Library Publishers 

P. 0. Box 148, Sta. D, New York City 

January, 1935 

■4Rfe»209 



SOVIETS IN SPAIN 

The October Armed Uprising Against Fascism 
By HARRY GANNES 

I 

THE SWORD OF revolution is drawn in Spain and the scabbard 
is thrown away. 

For fifteen days during the October. 1934, armed uprising, 
all of capitalist-feudal Spain trembled with fear at the spectre 
of a successful proletarian revolution. No decisive defeat has 
marked the end of the offensive of the Spanish toiling masses. 
The "victory" gained by the Lerroux-Robles government was 
not the victory of Mussolini or Hitler. The armed battles of the 
Spanish workers, led by the united front, the Workers' Alliance, 
carried the fight against world fascism and for Soviet Power 
to a higher stage. Their aftermath, also, will lead to greater 
storming of the heavens of capitalism and speed the day of 
victory of the proletarian revolution. 

Why was the October armed uprising not victorious in this 
tremendous assault of the working class? What were the mis- 
takes made? What was the situation that developed after the 
fighting, between the classes, victor and vanquished? And what 
are the perspectives for the future of the revolutionary movement? 

The October uprising swept through all of Spain. But in each 
center of the fighting it was influenced and marked by special 
characteristics of the class relationships and the particular type 
of leadership existing among the toiling, struggling masses. 
Throughout the October revolutionary events, we shall see, more- 
over, that the failure to carry out the correct Bolshevik tactics 
in the struggle for national autonomy in Catalonia at the most 
critical moment of battle turned the tide in favor of the forces 
of reaction. 



The three most important centers of the revolutionary siege 
were: (1) the Province of Catalonia, where the revolution was 
marked by the fight for national independence, by the vacilla- 
tion and treachery of the national bourgeoisie, and the shameful 
betrayals of the anarcho-syndicalist leaders; (2) Madrid, the 
capital of Spain, where the weaknesses of the Socialist leaders 
determined the untoward outcome of the battle there, and (3) 
the glorious Asturias Province, where the workers heroically 
seized power, Socialists and Communists firmly united, and es- 
tablished the rule of Soviet Power for 15 days, holding out long 
after their brothers in the rest of Spain had been forced to 
give up the fight. 

For nearly a year the necessity had been maturing in the 
minds of the workers for combatting with force of arms the 
Republic w T hich had promised to be one "of workers of all 
classes", established in April, 1931, after the flight of King Al- 
fonso. Their hopes were destroyed by the constant rise in fascist 
attacks under the camouflage of the Republic of 1931. The ful- 
some promises made by the Socialists of the peaceful solution 
of the agrarian, national and other pressing questions w 7 ere ex- 
posed by the realities of the brutal class battles. 

After more than three and a half years of the Republic, the 
reactionary landlord-capitalist regime was massing its forces 
and consolidating its fascist base, chiefly in the powerful Catholic 
Church and among the rich peasants, financiers and industrialists, 
sufficiently to risk drastic measures against the rising revolu- 
tionary discontent. 

What little the workers had gained in social legislation and 
wage increases in the early part of the Republic was rapidly 
being whittled away and their conditions reduced, in many in- 
stances, to a state worse than under the open reign of the big 
exploiters at the time of King Alfonso. The growing resistance 
of the working class and peasantry, indicating the rising tempo 
of revolutionary anger, is shown in the rapid increase of strike 
struggles before the armed uprising. In 1931, the official figures 
show 869,000 strikers, though actually there were more than 
3,600,000; in 1933, it is officially recorded that 1,032,000 struck 



(though it is estimated 6,000,000 were involved) against wage 
cuts, against worsening of conditions, and primarily against in- 
creased fascist assaults; and in the first quarter of 1934 alone, 
more than 1,900,000 workers had struck, the major number of 
strikes being political. 

At least 1,500,000, in a country of 23,000,000, were unem- 
ployed at the beginning of 1934. The intensified impoverish- 
ment of the masses is shown by the fact that the wages of the 
agricultural laborers alone had been slashed by 30 per cent. 

Revolutionary unrest among the peasants had broken through 
repeatedly since 1932, when 69 cases of violent land seizures 
were officially registered. In 1933 the number rose to 267, while 
in the first three months of 1934 there were 264 seizures of land 
by the peasants and 306 seizures of property. 

The Republic, which had held out to the peasants the phantom 
of an easy, peaceful solution of the land question, had actually 
consolidated and strengthened the power of the feudal landlords. 
In Spain 60 per cent of the working population are either land 
or forest workers. The agrarian revolution is a central task in 
the victory over fascism. The largest landowner is the Catholic 
Church, which is the foundation-stone of the attempts to in- 
augurate a fascist structure on the basis of the most reactionary 
section of the Spanish banking and industrial class. 

There are 3,000,000 landless agricultural workers in Spain. 
They earn from four to six pesetas (from 50 to 75 cents) a day. 
Two per cent of the Spanish landowners possess 67 per cent of 
the land; while 37 per cent own from 2% to 17% acres each. 
In Andalusia and Extremadura, the land is divided into such 
small fractions that out of 800,000 peasants only 100,000 can 
produce sufficient on their own land to make a bare livelihood. 

As a result of the land reforms of the Republic of 1931, only 
10,000 peasants profited even in the slightest. By 1933, 100,000 
acres of land had been distributed. It was estimated by one capi- 
talist newspaper in Spain that it would require 5,000 years to 
"solve the agrarian question at this rate". 

In speaking of the establishment of the "authoritarian" or 



fascist State in Spain the leading fascist forces, particularly Gil 
Robles, spokesman of the Right concentration and the reactionarv 
''Popular Action", always characterizes Spanish fascism bv ad- 
mitting that the Catholic Church will form its chief mass base. 

To understand the scope of the Church it is necessary to point 
out that, besides being the largest landowner, it is itself one of 
the most powerful forces of capitalism. The Jesuits, for example, 
the largest and most militant section of the Church (whose poli- 
tical head is Gil Robles), control the Urguijo Bank in Madrid 
with a capital of 125,000,000 pesetas. This institution further 
controls four banks in the provinces with a capital of 85,000,000 
pesetas. 

Besides this, the Jesuits are interested in the Madrid tram- 
ways, in mining ventures, in the South American steamship line, 
"Transatlantica", and in many other enterprises. 

The potential fascist mass base of the Church, together with 
the rich landowners and the finance capitalists, is shown by the 
ramifications of its institutions. The Catholic Church in Spain 
has 4,804 ''cultural" institutes, with 601.950 students. There are. 
furthermore. 27,000 students in secondary schools, and 17.103 
in professional institutions. 

This whole feudal-capitalist structure was not only left intact 
by the 1931 "democratic" Republic, but was permitted to 
strengthen itself against mass assault to the point where it could 
boldly and cynically prepare for the bloody institution of its 
fascist regime. 

To understand the course of the revolutionary battles of 
October, it is necessary to emphasize that there were three forces 
at the head of the proletariat. First, there was the Socialist 
Party, having the largest section of the organized proletariat 
behind it. Second, the anarcho-syndicalist leaders, strategically 
holding leadership in the storm center of Catalonia, where the 
crux of the revolutionary fighting was bound up with the na- 
tional question and the proletarian revolution. The anarcho- 
syndicalists were entrenched in that part of Spain where over 
one-third of the whole proletariat is concentrated. 

Previous to the armed battles, the Communist Partv strove 



with might and main to perfect the united front of the toiling 
masses. In Asturias, where the Socialists voted overwhelmingly 
to achieve the united front nearly one year before the armed 
uprisings, victory was gained and Soviets established. But in 
the rest of Spain it was not until September 13, after negotiations 
delayed by the Socialist Party leadership, that the Workers' 
Alliance was transformed by the Communist Party into the in- 
strument of the united front in the fighting. 

Long before the actual battles, the Communist Party of Spain 
presented the question of preparation for the revolution, and the 
tactics for assuring its success, clearly before the workers and 
peasant masses. It fought against the vacillation of the Socialist 
leaders, the counter-revolutionary plans of the anarchists, and 
the disruptions and anti-Communist free-lancing of the Trotzkyite 
remnants. 

"The hordes of revolution and counter-revolution stand facing 
each other, front to front", declared the Resolution of the Central 
Committee of the Communist Party of Spain many months before 
the armed uprisings, "and decisive battles will take place shortly. 
This is the situation in Spain. 

"In this situation the fundamental problem of securing the 
victory of the revolution is the organization and bringing together 
of the forces of revolution under a firm leadership conscious of 
its aims." 

On October 5, 1934, after the pre-arranged resignation of the 
Samper cabinet, the signal for the inauguration of a drive to- 
wards an open fascist regime, a general strike was called through- 
out Spain by the Workers' Alliance. The general strike was 
followed quickly by the armed struggle against fascism, though 
the struggle was weighed down with fateful vacillations and 
wrong tactics of the Socialist leaders, and outright sabotage and 
treachery of the anarchists, assisted by the Trotzkyites. 

It will be seen, however, that the treachery and counter- 
revolutionary deeds of the anarchist leaders were the greatest 
single factor that robbed the working class of victory. 

On the eve of the revolutionary battles, the Communist Party 
of Spain flung all of its forces into forging the united front for 



the armed battles, for the dictatorship of the proletariat, for 
Soviet Power, for inspiring the victory of the revolution. 

Where the Communist Party's program won out, there victory 
was gained. But since its program had not swept all of Spain, 
the treachery of the anarchists, the previous vacillation of the 
Socialist leaders, and their failure to draw in the peasants for 
the seizure of the land, isolated the Asturias proletariat, giving 
the advantage to the forces of fascism. 

From Strike to Armed Struggle 

The general strike of October 5 went over into the armed 
struggle against fascism with the greatest unevenness and with 
the greatest lack of centralized leadership and clear-cut objective. 
The anarchist leaders held back. They controlled organizations 
totalling over 1,000,000 members. This was fatal. One month 
later, early in November, the anarchist leadership in Saragossa 
called a general strike in protest against the execution of two 
revolutionists. But then it was too late. Had they called the strike 
simultaneously with the Workers' Alliance, the executed would 
more likely have been Gil Robles and Lerroux, butchers of the 
Spanish workers. 

Fighting then broke out all over Spain. The proletariat went 
into action. Though there was no centralized leadership, the whole 
world was electrified by the stubbornness and the heroism of the 
Spanish workers. They had learned from events in Germany. 
They had learned from the Austrian fighting. The Russian Revo- 
lution was their guiding banner, though they did not have its 
masterly leadership. 

In Asturias, the proletariat in this Northern industrial center 
of Spain had learned thoroughly every lesson of the revolu- 
tionary struggles of the proletariat of the Paris Commune and 
of the Russian Revolution. They seized power and held it. They 
organized their Red Army, set up a workers' and peasants' re- 
public. They organized the civil war, food distribution, their 
apparatus of power, action, communication, and distribution of 
the means of life. 

They communicated with the Communist Party of Spain in 



Madrid. They promised to hold out until the last ditch, waiting 
for revolutionary reinforcements throughout Spain. They called 
on the workers, peasants, and soldiers of all of Spain to follow 
their example. But the failures, the treachery of the anarchists 
in Barcelona, sealed their fate. 

While daily fighting was going on in Madrid, while the 
anarchists were betraying, and the Workers' Council in Cata- 
lonia was vacillating, waiting for the national bourgeoisie under 
the leadership of Companys to take the initiative, the Asturias 
proletariat issued as their first proclamation the following 
manifesto (See page 10 for reproduction of original): 

'WORKERS' AND PEASANTS' REPUBLIC OF ASTURIAS 

'Workers! Our glorious movement is spreading over the whole 
of Spain. In numerous places in Spain the movement has con- 
solidated with the victory of the toiling masses, the workers, 
peasants and soldiers. 

"As soon as our inner connections have been established and 
secured, you will be kept informed as to events in our republic 
and all over Spain. When our broadcasting stations are working, 
with ordinary and short waves, you will be kept informed. 

"Indubitably we have reached the last effort for the consoli- 
dation of the victory of the revolution. The fascist enemy is about 
to surrender, as also the paid soldiery with their apparatus. Guns, 
munitions, and other arms which we cannot name, as the war 
material must not become known, have fallen into our hands. 

"The forces of the army of the defeated republic of April 14 
are in retreat, and our vanguards are being joined by the soldiers 
ranging themselves in our glorious movement. 

"Forward, workers, women, peasants, soldiers, and revolutionary 
militia! Long live the social revolution! 

'THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE." 

This manifesto was signed by the Revolutionary Committee 
of Oviedo. Behind them were 20,000 armed Red Guards, and 
100,000 striking workers. 

Asturias blazed the way for the future of the Spanish revo- 
lution. Asturias was the handwriting on the wall of the fortress 
of Spanish fascism. No wonder Asturias, its glorious achieve- 
ments, its revolutionary daring, is on the lips of the whole 
Spanish working class! No wonder it is the perpetual nightmare 



I 



Republica de Obreros y Gampesinos 

de Astorias 



TRABAJADORES: 

El avance progresivo de nuestro glorioBo movimiento se va 
extendiemio por tod a Espafia; son muchfeimas las poblaciones es- 
pafiolas en donde el movimiento esta consolidado con el triunfo de 
los trab^jadores, campesinos obreros y soldados. 

B6tablecidas y aseguradas nuestras comunicacionea iuteriores, 
se os teudra al corriente de cuanto suceda en nuestra Republica y 
en el res to de Espafia. 

Instaladas nuestras Emisoras de radio, las cuales en onda 
corriente y en ooda extra corta, os pondran al corriente de todo. 

Es precise* el 6! timo ©sfuerzo para la consolidation del triunfo 
de la Revolution, 

El enemigo fascista se va rindiendo asi como se van entregan- 
do los componentes mercenarios con su aparato represivo, fusiles, 
ametralladoras, cartucheria, proyectiles varios (que no podemos se- 
fialar) para que no se conozca d*l material de combate de que dis- 
ponemos, ba cmdo en nuestras manos. 

Las fuerzas del ejercito d«s ladorrotada Republica del 14 tie Abril 
se baten en retirada y en todas nuestras avanzadillas se van su- 
mando los soldados para enrolarse a nuestro glorioso movimiento. 

;ADELANTE TRABAJADORE8, MUJERES, CAMPESINOS 
SOLDADOS Y MILICIANOS RKVOLUCIONARIOS! 

jVIVA LA REVOLUCiON SOCIAL! 

El Comlte Kcvolucioaafto. 

MANIFESTO ANNOUNCING ESTABLISHMENT OF ASTURIAS SOVIETS 
10 



of the bloody horde of the oppressors — the rich landlords, the 
myrmidons of the Church, the fascist scum, and the whole rotten 
class of capitalist landlords and agents of the foreign conces- 
sionaires! 

II 

In Madrid the general strike of October 5 was completely 
effective. But while the Asturias workers went over into the 
offensive through mass armed struggles, seizing power and setting 
up a workers' and peasants' republic, arousing the greatest initia- 
tive of the masses, inspiring them to the most self-sacrificing 
and heroic deeds, the Madrid fighting was largely sporadic. It 
was restricted mainly to picked shock bands. They struck with 
extreme rapidity and surprise, and retreated almost as quickly. 
But the great mass reserves of the proletariat were not led to 
storm the heavens of capitalism. 

Even so, the fighting in Madrid far surpassed the strategy 
in Vienna, as the picked bands carried the attack into the strate- 
gic centers of the enemy. 

The workers were on strike, prepared to fight. But the as- 
sault of the great mass of workers was directed mainly against 
strike-breakers, while the specially picked shock troops tried to 
harry the government forces, hoping to break their morale and 
increase the confusion and weakness of the precariously organ- 
ized fascist regime. 

The great masses, ready for action, were not drawn into the 
fighting to the fullest extent because of the basic failures and 
vacillations of the Socialist leaders. Largo Caballero and Prieto, 
Socialist leaders, from their secret headquarters, directed the 
fighting, but they had no clearly defined objective and had not 
previously prepared for mass struggles, for the establishment 
of Soviets, for arousing the peasants into simultaneous action 
which could have led to a victorious revolution. 

Workers with machine guns and rifles made repeated sallies 
on such central buildings as the Cortes (parliament), the Bank 
of Spain, the central police headquarters, the Ministries of the 
Interior, War, and Communications. 



'"Wherever employers tried to replace striking leftists with strike- 
breakers, armed bands of rebels appeared. In almost all instances 
there were sharp brushes with government forces protecting the 
strike-breakers. It was almost as though the rebel strikers had 
taken up the gauge of battle flung down by the two-day old cabinet 
of Premier Alejandro Lerroux at an emergency meeting yesterday.'" 
(Frank Gervasi. N. Y. American, October 8.) 

A description of the strategic attacks of the picked shock 
forces is given by the Associated Press cable from Madrid on 
October 7: 

"Heavy firing broke out at the famous Puerta del Sol, where the 
Ministry of the Interior is situated. Assault forces poured into 
the plaza there from five arterial streets, a veritable army appear- 
ing to converge upon a strategic center down the spokes of a 
wheel. ... In one district the revolutionaries captured a score of 
Civil Guards and held them as prisoners. . . . Troops began moving 
into Madrid, concentrating at strategic points from nearby bar- 
racks. They had full war-time equipment. Meanwhile, Madrid 
was virtually isolated from the provinces with communications 
severed and the only open channels being used for transportation 
of troops." 

The government was slow to move troops against the workers, 
fearing mutiny. Special regiments had to be picked to go into 
action. Orders were immediately given for the Foreign Legion 
at Ceuta, Africa, to proceed to Spain for counter-revolutionary 
service. These troops were sent chiefly to Asturias. 

In the workers' districts in Madrid, the fighting continued 
long after the central drives were beaten back, but lack of wea- 
pons further prevented a development of the battle to a greater 
offensive. The capital not falling into the hands of the re- 
stricted armed groups, the Catalonian debacle (which we will 
discuss later) giving heart to the bourgeoisie, the fighting in 
Madrid dwindled and died. 

Madrid proved to the hilt the declaration of the Communist 
Partv of Spain: "The revolution does not just occur, it is or- 
ganized." Insurrection, as Lenin pointed out, is an art. The 
organization of revolution cannot be restricted to shock troops 
"prepared to do anvthing", but must bring into the offensive the 
12 



whole forces of the working class, and must arouse into action 
the great peasant masses. The workers did not know who, where, 
and under what forms of struggle the revolution was being led, 
and what organs of power should be set up. 

The Socialist leaders resisted up to the eleventh hour the 
persistent proposals of the C.P. of Spain for a united front, say- 
ing that since the S.P. is relatively the larger party, it was not 
necessary for them to enter into united action. The higher stage, 
the offensive nature of the struggle, as compared to the Febru 
ary days in Austria, inevitably broke that resistance from on top, 
The Socialist leaders did not know and could not apply the les 
sons of insurrection taught by Marx and so brilliantly devel 
oped by Lenin and confirmed by the victorious Russian Revo 
lution. 

"To be successful", wrote Lenin in his article on "Marxism 
and Uprising", "the uprising must be based not on a conspiracy, 
not on a party, but on the advanced class. This is the first point. 
The uprising must be based on the revolutionary upsurge of the 
people. This is the second point. The uprising must be based on 
the crucial point in the history of the maturing revolution, when 
the activity of the vanguard of the people is at its height, when the 
vacillations in the ranks of the enemies, and in the ranks of the 
weak, half-hearted, undecided friends of the revolution are at 
their highest point. This is the third point. . . . But once these 
conditions exist, then to refuse to treat the uprising as an art 
means to betray Marxism and the revolution." 

Waited for the Fascists 

The Socialist leaders did not pick the crucial point, waiting 
for the fascists to take the initiative. When they did go into 
action, they did not base themselves on the mass struggles at 
their height, nor did they treat the uprising as an art; they failed 
to organize it for the victory which could have been achieved. 

What happened in Catalonia turned the tide of events. For 
four hundred years, the central rulers of Spain have been trying 
to unify Catalonia with the rest of Spain. When the 1931 repub- 
lic was established, the Catalonian people achieved a restricted 
measure of national independence which was increasingly curbed 
13 



as the "democratic" measures of the republic were whittled away 
by the Right, and later by the fascist developments. 

The crisis in the Samper government, which led to the forma- 
tion of the Lerroux-Robles fascist regime, and the armed upris- 
ing, was precipitated by the agrarian-national question in Cata- 
lonia. The Catalonian Generalidad (local government), some 
months before the clash, had passed an agrarian law, partially 
favoring the tenants and small landowners. The Supreme Court 
of Spain declared this law null and void, thereby wiping out 
the limited autonomy already won in Catalonia and the meager 
agrarian reform. 

The Workers' Alliance, instead of taking the lead for the 
independence of Catalonia on the basis of the revolutionary 
struggles of the working class, waited for the Catalonian bour- 
geoisie to act under the leadership of Louis Companys. 

On October 6, after pressure from the masses, Catalonia 
was declared independent. The anarchists fought against the 
independence of Catalonia, sabotaging the revolutionary strug- 
gles of the workers and acting as open strike-breakers and coun- 
ter-revolutionists. This delayed the action of the working class, 
created further hesitation and disorganization, and permitted 
Companys to betray the movement. 

Companys Maneuvered 

Companys did not go over into the armed struggle, but man- 
euvered and treated with General Batet of the Catalonia garrison. 
He feared the unloosing of the mass armed struggle which 
would sweep over the head of the national bourgeoisie. He gave 
General Batet time to organize his troops for assault. On October 
6, Companys invited Batet to join the independence movement. 
"The general," declared the New York Times cable of October 8, 
"asked for an hour to consider the proposition, but before the 
time was up he ordered his troops into the streets and began at- 
tacking buildings". 

Batet's troops seized the central government headquarters 
and the radio station from which Companys was broadcasting 
his pompous appeals. By this time, the workers had gone into 
14 



action, but they had received a fatal blow from the anarchist 
leaders, and were defeated. This gave encouragement to the 
landlord-bourgeois fascist government at Madrid, and the tide 
of battle turned throughout Spain after this defeat. 

In the suburbs of Barcelona, at Badelona, a city of 30,000 
inhabitants, and Sabadell, with 40,000 people, the workers took 
control; but with the defeat in Barcelona, without supporting 
actions of the proletariat throughout Catalonia (due to the fatal 
and initial treachery of the anarchists), the battle was lost. Since 
the anarchists had monopolized the leadership of the workers in 
this most important industrial center of Spain, their counter- 
revolutionary tactics sealed the defeat of the workers. 

Communist Party Held First Congress 

In the early part of 1934, the Communist Party of Catalonia 
held its first congress, attended by more than 100 delegates from 
all parts of Catalonia. At that time, the problems of the revo- 
lution in Catalonia were clearly outlined by the C.P. Congress. 
The main thesis declared: 

'The Communist Party of Catalonia, whilst proceeding to the 
carrying out of its historical task, the overthrow of the power of 
the bourgeoisie and of the big landowners, by mobilizing the 
broad masses for the national and social emancipation of the 
toiling population of Catalonia, for the struggle for the right of 
self-determination right up to separation, for the setting up of 
the Soviets of workers, toiling peasants, soldiers, and sailors, will 
conduct an irreconcilable struggle against Spanish imperialism, 
and the traitors of the cause of the emancipation of the Catalonian 
people: the Esquerra, the Generalidad and its agents." 

The Communist Party of Spain in its resolution on the lessons 
of the armed uprising declared with regard to the national 
struggle : 

"Another frightful error was the leaving of the issue of struggle . 
in the hands of such vacillating persons as Company's. ... If the 
revolution is to be victorious, it must remain in all its forms 
in the hands of the exploited. This has been once more demon, 
strated by our heroic comrades in Asturias and Biscay." 

15 



Faced by the withering criticism of the toiling masses, by the 
sharp movement away from the anarchists to the Communist 
Party, the anarchist leaders tried to win back their waning lead- 
ership by calling a general strike in Saragossa and other parts 
of Catalonia in protest against the execution of two workers. 
But this gesture, coming from a source itself tainted with the 
blood of the workers, received little supporting response. 

The result of the fighting in Catalonia has sharpened the class 
lines in the national independence struggle. The bourgeoisie has 
been weakened (if not annihilated) as a force in the struggle 
for national emancipation. The anarchist chiefs, who were 
against national independence, are being exposed in the eyes of 
the revolutionary masses as counter-revolutionists. The workers 
who went into action have learned the lesson of taking the initia- 
tive which will not be lost in the next revolutionary upsurge. 

Early in December, 1934, the workers in the anarcho-syndi- 
calist trade unions gave a striking expression of their disgust 
with the betrayals of the anarchist leadership. At an under- 
ground meeting of the Castille division of the anarcho-syndicalist 
trade union (C.N.T.), it was decided to join in the united front 
of the Workers' Alliance along with the Socialist and Commu- 
nist Parties. 

All present agreed that it was necessary to condemn in the 
sharpest manner the sabotage and betrayal of the Central of 
Anarchists ( F.A.I. ), and it was resolved to break all relations 
with Garcia Oliver, anarchist leader of the F.A.I. Similar action 
was taken in Asturias, Galicia, Leon, Aragon, Catalonia and 
Andalusia. 

It was further resolved, in breaking with the anarchist lead- 
ers and policies, to participate in the next municipal elections by 
supporting candidates of the Workers' Alliance, and, where such 
nominees are not put up. either the Socialist or Communist 
candidate. 

Ill 

In Asturias, where the united front of the Communists and 
Socialists of Spain had been established long before the October 
general strike and the armed battles, a workers' and peasants' 
16 



regime was set up. The heroism, the discipline, the achieve- 
ments of the Asturias working class stand as an inspiration to the 
toiling masses of all Spain. To this day the spectre of the 
Asturias Commune terrorizes and frightens the bourgeoisie. When 
the battles were ended or betrayed by the anarchist leaders in 
the rest of Spain, the Asturias proletariat held out against the 
greatest odds, and fought with daring fury to entrench them- 
selves in the fortress of the Asturias Commune, hoping and wait- 
ing for reinforcements from the rest of Spain. 

They were finally defeated on October 18 only by the great- 
est mobilization of the most trusted sections of the Spanish 
army, by the terrific air bombardment of the entire Spanish air 
fleet, by the ferocious attacks of the cut-throat and w^ell -equipped 
Spanish Foreign Legion and the Riff troops imported from 
Morocco, and above all by the treachery of the anarchist leaders 
in Catalonia, which permitted the Lerroux-Robles regime to 
concentrate the bulk of its armed forces against the Asturias 
Soviets. Oviedo, the capital of Asturias, was reduced to a mass 
of crumbling ruins. Men, women, and children were slaughtered 
by the bloodthirsty scum of the Spanish Foreign Legion. This 
band of hired butchers is universally known to comprise escaped 
convicts, murderers, mercenaries, the worst dregs of the under- 
world of every land; White Guard Russians, chased out of other 
capitalist countries because of their criminal deeds, Riffs, who 
were paid to kill their own people for Spanish imperialism in 
Morocco — all under the leadership of General Ochoa, the Spanish 
Gallifet, hangman of the proletariat. They were the shock troops 
used by the hypocritical Catholic fascist rulers to teach the Astu- 
rias proletariat a lesson in Christian ethics. 

Held Power 15 Days 

For 15 days the workers and peasants in Asturias held power. 
These were 15 days of endless fighting without respite for the 
Red Army. Yet, notwithstanding this, the Commune set up its 
governing apparatus, decreed all lands belonged to the peasants 
who tilled them; requisitioned food and supplies for the toiling 
masses and the Red Army; established its press; took over the 
17 



big industries and utilized them for the manufacture of arms for 
the revolutionary struggles, and seized the largest bank in 
Oviedo, confiscating 15,000,000 pesetas for food, clothing, and 
shelter for the unemployed, and for the necessities of waging 
war against the fascist regime. 

On October 12, the Workers' and Peasants' Government of 
Asturias set up its wireless communication with the rest of Spain 
and sent a message to the Central Committee of the Communist 
Party in Madrid, declaring: 

"All of this region is in our hands. We have proclaimed the 
Republic of Workers, Peasants and Soldiers. We have 100,000 
workers under arms, and a shock brigade of 10,000 men. We have 
taken the factories producing war materials. On October 9 we 
occupied all of Oviedo, after besieging the city for five days. 
Then we proclaimed the power of the workers and peasants. 
A number of the Civil Guard and Storm Guard gave up to us. 

"We declared the abolition of private property. Alcoholic 
drinks were prohibited. A company of machine gunners coming 
from Leon were destroyed by us at Campomanes after a hard 
battle. Since Monday, October 8, planes have bombarded us. We 
shot two down with machine guns. [Later they shot five more, 
though they did not have anti-aircraft equipment.] The columns 
of General Ochoa, which penetrated Aviles, opened a cannonade 
on the workers' homes; they killed women and children and the 
best known revolutionists. When General Ochoa penetrated Aviles 
he did not dare to enter the interior of the city. 

"The women fight heroically in the front ranks. We have 
replaced the proletarian prisoners by capitalists whom we are 
guarding as hostages. . . . We possess resources and materials to 
resist for three months. By radio we know the situation of the 
rest of Spain. 

"But nevertheless, even if you cannot impede the concentration 
of forces against Asturias, we will not declare ourselves van- 
quished." 

The heroism of the Asturias proletariat, fighting against supe- 
rior forces, striving by might and main to retain the Soviet 
power, feeding the hungry masses, attempting to establish its 
stern discipline and order in the face of the bombardment and 
sabotage of the fascist hordes, aroused the admiration and respect 
even of its enemies in Asturias, as we shall learn. 



Ruled Against Odds 

Every bit of food and supplies requisitioned was done so on 
the order and receipt of the Revolutionary Committee. The work- 
ers showed the greatest revolutionary initiative and ability to 
rule in the face of the greatest odds. 

Instructions were issued by the Revolutionary Committee 
against all acts of pillage, with orders to arrest and shoot pil- 
lagers. All of the workers' parties and organizations were called 
to the central headquarters of the government to participate in 
the administration of the Commune and to arrange for the defense 
of the workers' and peasants' republic. 

The documents and deeds of the Asturias Commune are now 
being studied by the whole proletariat of Spain as examples of 
what the workers are capable of when they fight for power. The 
Revolutionary Committee of Mieres (Asturias), when it achieved 
power, issued a proclamation declaring that "acting on the will 
of the people and watching over the interests of the revolution, 
it is resolved to take all measures with the necessary energy in 
order to direct the course of the movement". 

Strict Discipline 

These measures provided for the registration of all workers 
eligible to bear arms. Registration bureaus were set up. They 
provided that anyone caught looting would be shot. Everyone 
possessing arms was called on to report at the Committee's head- 
quarters, so that only workers could retain arms, while their 
enemies were disarmed. All food and clothing were confiscated 
for the use of the people and for the Red Army. All members 
of trade unions and workers' political parties and youth organ- 
izations were called on to report with their cards so that they 
could be assigned responsible tasks in connection with the work- 
ers' government and the Red Army. In order to organize the 
fighting on the most effective basis, it was decreed: "It is strictly- 
prohibited to fire shots at airplanes from rifles, pistols or hunt- 
ing guns, without the express orders of this Committee". 

The Rec' Army, though hastily assembled, was well organized 
19 



BANDO 



HACEMOS SABER: Desde la aparicion de 

este bando queda constituido e! Ejercito Fiojo, 
pudiendo pertenecer a el todos lor trabajadorci 
que esten dispuestos a defender con su san*re los 
intereses de nuestra clase proletaria. 

Este eje>cito quedara complied y se dirigiri 
en la forma siguiente: 

!.° Tcdos left qu« h,a?a cumplido los dU: ? echo anos h.a*to 
Mnlg ? cinco putd** tr.scr 4m ol $i*rdto Roje 

9.° £{nc oes ing-esadcs n fi'.as Undrdn qu« oes«n*jr una feme 
I lt d pl taft 

3.° Cos eUfttr o o w a o dcsoV«diencias ol mando s#r*n cestigadaft 

4.© Qutdan «*clufdos 2c p«rttn«eer al $j4r<He ftclo aqoettoi qui; 
tja?an p«rt«n«ido a la <!os« «jep!ctadora. 

S op Ufllonifcnl o at los eontrorrfrolucionarlos, la* dfni^roactcV 
St nuffttros posicion« r&$t law on ftfrrltn in*tf\<ftfo qflutfrtde i 
pe'..rr»U para tdtftetfr \o sciitdsd Socialista. 

Molc.-Todos los dias a«a« las echo b 1« maftarta quidc «*kf* U 
cficina dt Inscription en las a*t*T*dtnc4as * fl fl?wttamlsjl* 
El Comxtk RevolocioturU 

ORDER CREATING THE RED ARMY OF ASTURIAS 
20 



PROCLAMATION 

BE IT KNOWN: With the appearance of 
this proclamation there is constituted the Red 
Army to which all workers ready to defend 
with their blood the interests of the proleta- 
riat may belong. 

This army will be composed of and concern 
itself with the following: 

1. All those between the ages of 18 and 3 5 are eli- 
gible for service in the Red Army. 

2. Once within its ranks they must comply with its 
iron discipline. 

3. Deserters and those disobedient will be punished 
with the greatest severity. 

4. All those belonging to the exploiting classes are 
excluded from the Red Army. 

In order to crush the counter-revolution and to pro- 
tect our advances the Army will carry on relentless 
warfare in order to build a Socialist society. 

Note: The recruiting office will be open at the City 
Hall each day from eight in the morning until evening. 

THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE. 



TRANSLATION OF PROCLAMATION ON OPPOSITE PAGE 
21 



and disciplined, consisting chiefly of the Asturias miners, soldiers, 
munitions factory workers, peasants. Leaders sprang from the 
ranks. Special corps of miners were organized to dynamite the 
troops sent against them. With the greatest daring and skill they 
carried out their work. As one Spanish bourgeois correspondent 
put it: "They carried out their tasks with amazing efficiency and 
without the slightest regard for their own lives". 

Another correspondent tells of the Workers' Red Army march- 
ing into Oviedo: 

"I watched them march through. It was an indescribable 
spectacle. The first of the men carried baskets with self-manu- 
factured hand-grenades. With the shout: 'Forward, comrades!" 
they charged into the withering fire of the Civil Guards, who were 
barricaded in the building of the telephone headquarters." 

One doctor in Oviedo. who was impressed into the medical 
service of the Red Army of Asturias, writing in the reactionary 
Spanish newspaper. Estampa. of his experiences, tells of the 
undying heroism of the Asturias workers. The wounded began 
to pour into the hospitals. Workers badly injured were impatient 
at the delay of the doctors. They wanted to get back to the 
firing lines. The doctor tells of one fighter who was brought in. 

" 'Patch me up quickly', one wounded man demanded. "Do me 
first. I want to get back. We must take Santa Clara Barracks. 
It is full of Civil Guards.' 

"I looked at the man. He had a gaping wound on the side of 
his neck. 

" "You must go to bed', the doctor ordered. 

'"The man refused to go to bed and went off without attention. 
The next day he was dead in the roadway. 

"A wounded man arrived, supported by a thin youngster with 
the face of a woman. He carried a rifle slung over his shoulder 
and bandoliers of cartridges. Turning to me. probably because I 
Asas nearest, he declared: 'It's terrible'. 'What's terrible?' I asked. 
"Comrade Belarme has been shot. When he saw that we were 
not making as much progress as he would have liked at the pre- 
fecture, he dashed forward, without cover, to bomb the place, and 
they shot him down with a volley.' 'Do you think', I asked, 'that 
your ideals are worth all that, all this slaughter?' 'We want nothing 
more than Communism', he answered. 'But don't forget, my friend". 

22 



I pointed out, 'your attempt to establish Communism has collapsed 
everywhere else in Spain.' 'That was because the others didn't 
understand how to go about the business', he declared, uncon- 
vinced. 'We are not plunderers, or thieves or murderers. We are 
proletarians and our ideal is social equality. Only those who 
work shall be permitted to eat.' " 

\^ hen the Asturias proletariat was finally defeated, the fas- 
cist slaughter was frightful. Hundreds were massed against walls, 
men, women, and children, and mowed down with machine guns. 
The bodies of the dead and wounded were piled up and burned 
together. 

The capitalist press in Spain and throughout the world began 
its usual campaign of slander against the heroic Asturias work- 
ers. They were accused of every atrocity in the long lying cal- 
endar of the history of counter-revolution. 

At the very moment workers were being imprisoned, tor- 
tured, shot, burned, the world capitalist press spread stories of 
the revolutionaries' "atrocities''. But no similar lies were so 
quickly destroyed. After a brief period of vituperation, the most 
rabid fascist papers in Spain halted their slanders for lack of 
even the slimmest shred of proof. The heroism, discipline, brav- 
ery of the Asturias workers overshadowed all else, and inflamed 
the Spanish workers with the greatest enthusiasm. Even Hitler's 
Nazi correspondent in Madrid was forced to deny the atrocity 
stories against the Asturias workers, comparing them with the 
Allied anti-German war atrocity fables. We have not space 
here to print the mass of complete and definite denials by the 
fascist forces themselves in and out of Spain. 

Preparing for Greater Battles 

The reign of terror in Asturias now is the worst in all Spain. 
But the proletariat, despite its frightful toll, estimated in Asturias 
alone between 2,500 and 3,500 dead, is manifesting no spirit of 
defeat: is even now preparing for greater battles, terrifving the 
butchers who rule over them with machine guns and cannon. So 
fearful are the Spanish landlord-capitalist rulers of the Asturias 
proletariat to this day. that the Asturias coal mines have not been 
23 



opened because they do not know what will happen if the 
workers get together again. A proposal was made in a Madrid 
paper that the mines be closed indefinitely and ultimately 
abandoned. 

To what depths has the desperation of the Spanish bour- 
geoisie gone when it seriously proposes slicing off one of its 
own vital limbs in order to destroy or disperse the proletariat 
with it! 

But meanwhile, the enraged capitalist dogs are wreaking their 
vengeance on Socialist and Communist prisoners. The jails are 
full to bursting. Every day workers are tortured or killed. 

The Asturias workers look to the workers of the whole world 
for help and support. Only mass united front actions of Social- 
ists and Communists, rallying thousands behind them, can save 
the lives of hundreds of these heroic fighters who so gladly were 
ready to die for the workers' cause. 

The epic of Asturias will forever live in the hearts of the 
workers of the whole world, glorious inheritor of the Paris Com- 
mune and of the Russian Revolution, the beacon that will light 
the way to a rapid victory of the proletarian revolution through- 
out all of Spain. 

IV 

The full lessons of the Spanish armed uprising have not been 
drawn yet, the movement having been too vast, information too 
scattered and general, with the fascist censorship clamped down. 
But the main, decisive lessons, the chief causes for failure, those 
responsible for betrayal and treachery, and the outstanding short- 
comings are clear. 

Let us hear from a Socialist leader first, Andelicio Prieto, 
who, together with Largo Cabellero, partook in the leadership 
of the general strike and the armed struggles in Madrid. Cabe- 
llero was arrested and is now in prison. Prieto, after the failure 
of the fighting, was able to escape to Paris. 

In Paris he was interviewed by Le Petit Journal on October 
31: "To what do you attribute the check of the revolutionary 
movement, if it truly represents the opinion of the majority?" 
24 



he was asked. His answer was: "First, to the rapidity and vio- 
lence of the repression. Second, to the weakness of the agrarian 
reinforcements, influenced by the defeat suffered during their 
general strike. Third, to the obstinacy of the syndicalist and 
anarchist elements." 

While all of this is true, it is not the whole truth. No one 
can deny that the execrable treachery and betrayal of the anar- 
chist leaders stabbed the armed uprising in the back. 

Prieto's first reason for failure conceals not the weakness 
of the proletariat in the face of the ferocity of fascism, but the 
failure of the Socialist leaders to prepare sufficiently for the 
armed insurrection beforehand, their resistance to the united 
front until shortly before the armed uprising, their reliance on 
small bands instead of mass armed attacks, and chiefly their 
vacillations in putting the question of Soviets as organs of power 
before the masses. 

In his second reason, Prieto also conceals much. Failure of 
the agrarian strike, which weakened the peasant forces in the 
struggle, was due to the bad leadership of the Socialists. 
Above all, they did not put forward the question of the seizure 
of the land by the peasants, a slogan which would have had the 
effect, not only of drawing the peasants into the general uprising, 
but also of influencing the army, composed mainly of the sons 
of the peasants. 

Criticism Confirmed 

We will quote Prieto again in answer to another question, 
because it is here that he enters into some self-criticism, and 
fully confirms the Communist criticism of the Socialist Party 
leaders since the establishment of the Republic in 193 1. In the 
Republic the Socialists had played a leading role, filling the 
masses with democratic illusions on the solution of their prob- 
lems by collaboration with the bourgeoisie. 

"How do you explain," Prieto was asked, "the discontent in 
Span, and the success of Gil Robles [leading fascist] m the 
last elections?" 

Prieto answered: "Precisely because of the Right policy of 
25 



the Left regime. This government born with the republic and 
created by the republic became the rampart of forces adverse 
to the republic. It is true that the Left government of Spain 
carried out the policy of the Right before Lerroux and Samper. 
In this period of perishing capitalism, the Spanish bourgeoisie 
could not even carry through the bourgeois democratic revo- 
lution. 

"It is this disillusionment of the masses with the republic 
they so much desired that explains the victory of Gil Robles." 

The Left regime referred to, which carried out a Right pol- 
icy, is, of course, the regime of the Socialist leaders with the 
Left Republicans. 

Communist Analysis 

Soon after the defeat of the revolutionary struggles in Spain 
the Communist Party analyzed the causes for the failure. We 
list the basic points of this analysis: 

1. The political and organizational preparations for the revo- 
lution were insufficient. Its program was not made known to 
the whole of the working masses. The fact was ignored that the 
revolution is not made; it is organized. 

2. The peasants were not drawn into the revolutionary 
struggles. This, too, is the reason why the army, consisting mainly 
of peasants, did not go over to the side of the revolution. 

3. The problem of power, the fundamental question of every 
revolution, was not placed clearly before the workers and peas- 
ants. The masses were not acquainted with the organs of power, 
the Soviets, how they should function, how and where they 
should be organized. 

4. In the very heart of the Socialist leadership, side by side 
with revolutionists, ready for any sacrifice, were elements who 
did not conceal their hostility to the revolution. 

5. The general strike was not carried out before the Lerroux- 
Robles government was formed. This left the initiative in the 
hands of the enemy. 

6. The struggle for national independence in Catalonia was 
left to the initiative of the vacillating and treacherous bour- 

26 



geoisie, such as Companys. To be victorious, the revolution, in 
all its forms, must be under the leadership of the proletariat. 

7. The monstrous betrayal and treachery of the anarchist 
leaders was the worst blow of all and showed them, as Marxism 
has always described them, as enemies of the proletarian revo- 
lution, who in the struggles in Spain were found on the barri- 
cades on the side of fascism. 

Anarchists Sabotaged Struggle 

The deeds of the anarchists in Spain in the decisive struggles 
against fascism again proved up to the hilt the historical Marx- 
ian criticism of the whole theory and tactics of anarchism. 

Not in all the history of anarchism have their leadership and 
basic ideas been so costly to the workers as in Spain. This flows, 
not out of the tactical mistakes of the Spanish anarchists in this 
particular situation, but out of the whole conception of anarchism 
in relation to the class struggle. In Spain the damage was so 
great because the anarchists had won leadership over 1,000,000 
workers and the leaders carried out their counter-revolutionary 
conceptions at a time when the workers were entering armed 
struggles against fascism. 

Nothing expresses the treacherous conceptions of the anar- 
chist leaders more than their published comment when a number 
of Spanish Communists were sent to the African penal colonies. 
Borrowing their phrases from the Trotzkyites, the anarchists de- 
clared to the Communist prisoners: "Go, build Socialism now in 
one country!" 

In their criticism of the capitalist State, the anarchists also 
criticized as bitterly and savagely the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat, thereby diverting the workers from the only force and 
power which could defeat and destroy the rule of capitalist- 
landlord ruling power. In this they have a common ground with 
those who, like Kautsky, consider the fascist dictatorship as on 
the same plane and basically indistinguishable from the prole- 
tarian dictatorship. 

Anarchism, basically, is the Utopian, petty-bourgeois phil- 
osophy developed into a system by Proudhon and given organi- 



zational expression by Bakunin, the bitterest enemy of Marx in 
the First International. It is based chiefly on the remnants of 
the petty bourgeoisie who in the early stages of capitalism are 
driven into the ranks of the proletariat, and carry on a violent 
struggle against capitalism for the abstract conception of "lib- 
erty" and "equality" which expresses the Utopian desire of the 
enraged petty bourgeoisie to preserve their individual property 
and "liberty". 

Because of the late development of capitalism, and hence of 
the proletariat, in Spain, the anarchists were able to get a foot- 
hold, and carry over their leadership into a period when the 
proletariat was maturing rapidly toward seizure of power and 
the establishment of the proletarian dictatorship. 

The anarchist leaders' idea is that, since the proletarian dic- 
tatorship is no better than the capitalist dictatorship, when the 
one is threatened by the other, why take sides? Furthermore, not 
believing in proletarian struggles, they fight against strikes of a 
political nature, especially one leading to the armed insurrection 
for workers' power. 

The victory of the workers in the Soviet Union has shown 
the correctness of the Marxian-Leninist goal of the establish- 
ment of the dictatorship of the proletariat as the most powerful 
weapon of the revolution in combating and destroying, not only 
the capitalist State, but the last vestiges of the capitalist class 
and capitalist relations which try to perpetuate themselves after 
the seizure of power by the working class. Every revolutionary 
struggle since 1871 has shown again and again that unless the 
working class is able to establish its dictatorship, it cannot hope 
to proceed with the development of the new society, Socialism. 
Especially at a time when the Spanish bourgeoisie were dropping 
all pretenses at democracy and bringing their class dictatorship 
out into the open, with its more brutal, chauvinist and repressive 
characteristics, the "impartiality" of the anarchists towards the 
"State" proved to be the most valuable counter-revolutionary 
service in the interest of fascism. 

The anarchist leaders fought against the Soviet Union and 
the proletarian dictatorship more vigorously than against the 

28 



capitalist State, considered by them freer than proletarian rule, 
which they called "red imperialism". 

Sabotaged General Strike 

Hence, when it came to the decisive test, when fascism sought 
to establish its open, brutal dictatorship, the anarchists, true to 
their historical role, sabotaged the general strike, the armed 
uprising for Catalonian national independence, and the prole- 
tarian revolution and the establishment of Soviets throughout 
Spain. 

Anarchism, in the person of the Spanish anarchist leaders, 
performed a service for Spanish capitalism which its mercenary, 
criminal Foreign Legion could never have performed alone, with 
its most modern means of mass murder. 

The lessons of the Spanish revolution are of international 
significance, and will have international, immediate repercus- 
sions in the class struggle and the world battle against fascism 
and for Soviet Power. 

In an article in International Press Correspondence, on 
"The Civil War in Spain and the International Proletariat", 
Comrade Ercoli writes: 

"The recent events in Spain have once again provided a con- 
vincing object lesson of the international validity of Leninism 
and Bolshevism. The victory of the revolution demands revolu- 
tionary strategy and revolutionary tactics. There are no revolu- 
tionary tactics and strategy outside the practice and theory of 
Bolshevism. . . . 

"The October struggles of the Spanish masses which revealed 
this incapacity of the Socialist leaders by an acid test, represent 
a decisive stage in the development of the Spanish revolution. The 
working masses of Spain will learn from their experience. . . . 

"The Communist Party of Spain was not only the sole working 
class organization which had a correct policy toward all the fun- 
damental problems of the revolution, but it was also at the head of 
the working masses in their struggles in the October days. The 
red flag of the Communist Party waved victoriously over the bar- 
ricades in Asturias and it was carried into the struggle by the 
most determined of the proletarian fighters of the glorious Com- 
mune of Asturias. . . . 

29 



"The Spanish revolution is still proceeding. The Spanish bour- 
geoisie is well aware that the workers and peasants have not 
suffered a final defeat, and the fear of further mass struggles 
has already made a section of the bourgeoisie hesitant. . . . Our 
heroic Spanish Communist Party, which has now stood its test of 
fire gloriously, will succeed in placing itself at the head of the 
workers and peasants and in leading them to final victory. 

''However, the Communists and the other revolutionary workers 
of Spain must receive practical assistance from us in their struggle. 
The international solidarity of the proletariat and the interna- 
tional struggle of the proletariat to support the Spanish revo- 
lution must contribute practically to clearing the way for further 
mass struggles in Spain and to assisting the Spanish workers and 
peasants in their difficult struggle. The international solidarity 
of the proletariat must and will contribute to the defeat of fascism 
in Spain and bring the day of the final victorious struggle of the 
proletariat nearer both in Spain and in the rest of Europe." 



Two outstanding factors underlie all developments in Spain 
since the October armed uprising. On the one hand, the toiling 
population shows no expression of defeat. There is no pessi- 
mism. Its fighting spirit was not crushed. Spain seethes with 
growing discontent and new rapidly maturing battles. The great 
reserves of workers and peasants who were not drawn into the 
revolutionary struggles are restive. The workers' organizations 
not only were not destroyed but are growing. The masses are 
discussing with the greatest enthusiasm the course of the battles, 
the reason for failure, and especially the achievements of the 
Asturias Soviets. The anarchist leaders are losing their grip on 
the Catalonian workers, and the Communist Party is growing 
rapidly. 

On the other hand, the fascist regime has the greatest diffi- 
culty in solidifying its rule and asserting its brutal dictatorship. 
Its mass base is w r eak, disorganized, conflicting, indecisive. The 
ruling landlords, industrial capitalists, financiers and the blood- 
sucking Church hierarchy have conflicting interests which sharpen 
as the crisis of Spanish capitalism grows worse. 

In its hysteria, fear, and rage, the Spanish bourgeoisie slaugh- 
30 



ters and harasses the arrested toilers, but is split even on the 
question of the degree of its revenge. And it is here that the 
international action of the workers, the united front in support 
of the Spanish fighters, becomes of the greatest importance, of 
the most powerful immediate value to our Spanish comrades 
against their hangmen. While killing hundreds of workers in 
secret in Asturias, only several have been executed openly as a 
national example to the revolutionists. These butcheries were met 
with strike actions on a large scale. 

No Spiri* of Defeat 

A correspondent of the Daily Worker in Madrid described the 
situation existing on November 1, nearly one month after the 
fighting: 

"There is not the slightest spirit of defeat among the workers. 
The glorious Commune of Asturias is the main topic of discussion 
among them. Asturias has become the guiding light of the Spanish 
workers. They hail 'La Commune' of Spain. The workers are 
learning more and more of what happened; are discussing their 
mistakes, preparing to gain by them. This is heightening the 
despair of the bourgeoisie. . . . 

"Fascism is having the most difficult time trying to institute 
its dictatorship over the workers. The type of fascism, based 
on the Church and religious trimmings, sought by Gil Robles, 
is finding the greatest difficulty as the workers are learning what 
fascism is. The briefest picturization of the situation in Spain 
today is that of an invading army which has managed to seize 
some of the important fortified points, but is awaiting with fear 
and trepidation the attack of a hostile population." 

Failure and inability to consolidate the fascist regime in 
Spain led to a partial cabinet crisis on November 17. Foreign 
Minister Ricardo Samper Ibanez and War Minister Diego Hidalgo 
were forced to resign. The fascist leader Robles precipitated 
their resignation on the ground that Civil Guard forces should 
have been increased and greater counter-revolutionary measures 
taken against Socialists and Communists in Asturias before the 
armed uprising. Robles, unlike Hitler, repeatedly denies fascist 
intent and declares his love for the Republic. 
31 



Crisis Is Acute 

The economic crisis, especially acute in Spain before the revo- 
lutionary struggles, now, with the "victory" of fascism, is plung- 
ing the following articles: "After the Glorious Revolutionary Days, 
greater masses of peasants. Unemployment almost doubled when 
work began after the general strike. The financial condition of 
the government, always increasingly bad, is now grave. The cost 
of the civil war was so great that the government gladly accepted 
donations from every monarchist and capitalist source to help 
pay for the slaughter of the workers. Ex-King Alfonso donated 
50,000 pesetas. All of the big companies and landowners added 
their bit. Even the American Telephone & Telegraph Co., and 
other Wall Street corporations in Spain contributed thousands 
of pesetas to the fund for the armies which killed the workers. 

The mutinies which occurred in the armed forces during the 
fighting hang over Spanish fascism like a heavy cloud. Besides 
the regiment at Gerona, and the sailors at Santander, who refused 
to go into action against the workers, there is the case of Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Lopez Bravo of the African troops who were 
ordered to Spain. Bravo was arrested and is now in prison be- 
cause he declared: "They will not shoot down their brothers". 

The discussion of the lessons of the revolutionary struggles, 
stirring the toiling and peasant population, is sweeping through 
the army. 

"There is practically nothing left of the state and spirit of the 
republic of 1931," declared the monarchist Deputy Colva Sabila 
in the Cortes after the insurrection. 

This meant that the process of the Right of destroying through 
"democratic" means all of the gains of the 1931 republic had 
been practically achieved. The agrarian reforms are now wiped 
out. The conditions of the workers are being made worse. The 
Socialist and Communist municipal representatives are being 
thrown out, and fascists appointed in their place. Church reforms 
are ended, and the Church has been strengthened as a fascist 
base. The autonomy measures granted to Catalonia and Biscay 
under the constitution are now completely annihilated. 
32 



The Communist Party of Spain has come out of the battles 
intact and strengthened. Prepared for illegal struggles by the 
previous period of long suppressions, by the world experience 
of fascist developments, by the leadership of the Communist 
International, the organizational structure of the Party was not 
injured by the terror. The Central Committee of the Party meets 
constantly in Spain and directs the increasing activity of the 
Party. Immediately after the battles, the first issue of the illegal 
organ of the Party, Bandera Roja (Red Flag) appeared contain- 
ing the following articles: '"After the Glorious Revolutionary Days, 
the Battle Is Not Ended"; '"They Are the Savage Assassins"; "The 
Truth About Asturias"; "A New Ignominious Affront of the Sec- 
ond International"; "Prisoners of the Same Cause"; "Unity and 
Solidarity"; "Soldiers! Class Brothers: Our Place Is on the Side 
of the Revolution!" 

Those Socialist members of the Cortes who were not arrested 
met to discuss the question of whether they should participate in 
the sessions of the Cortes. By a vote of 23 to 16 they decided 
to boycott the sessions until the arrested deputies were freed. 
The leader of the Right Wing, Besteiro, who fought against the 
armed struggles, did not vote, deciding to participate in the 
parliament of the fascist Lerroux-Robles government. 

Anxious to suppress the truth of the present situation in 
Spain, the Lerroux-Robles regime not only enforces its censor- 
ship, but does everything possible to prevent delegations from 
other countries investigating conditions. The Paris lawyer. Opp- 
man, of the International Juridical Association, and Rab'ate, rep- 
resentative of the United Confederation of Labor of France, who 
went to Madrid to aid the arrested workers and to learn of con- 
ditions in Spain, were both thrown into prison. The two British 
investigators, Miss Ellen C. Wilkinson, former Labor Member 
of Parliament, and the Earl of Listowel, author, were kidnapped 
in Oviedo on November 17, and driven for 17 hours to the 
border and then told to go or their lives would be in danger. 

The French and Portuguese governments cooperate with the 
Lerroux-Robles fascist regime by deporting fleeing revolution- 
ists, and turning them over to be imprisoned or killed. 
33 



The International Labor Defense of Spain, from official fig- 
ures, and from its own reports, estimated the losses of the revo- 
lutionary struggles in Spain as follows: 3,000 dead, 5,000 
wounded, 90,000 prisoners. With regard to prisoners, the official 
figures show that in Barcelona there are 6,000 in prison and 
3,000 in Madrid. All jails are frightfully overcrowded; five 
or six prisoners being packed into cells meant for one. 

The Spanish section of the International Labor Defense, 
addressing itself to the workers in all countries on their tasks 
in defense of the Spanish workers in the present situation, 
declared: 

"Thousands of families and orphans are left completely des- 
titute. Mass arrests are still being made all over Spain, and there 
are not enough prisons to hold the arrested so that they are being 
packed like cattle into improvised concentration camps. . . . 

"The Spanish section of the I.L.D. took its fighting position 
from the first moment. We know it is our duty to bring help 
quickly to thousands of prisoners, thousands of families and 
children of dead revolutionaries. We are exerting our utmost 
efforts. We are calling on the toiling masses everywhere to aid 
us in the tremendous task, for without help we cannot carry it out. 

"We need your help! 

"Tn the name of the heroic Spanish workers and peasants who 
have given their lives in the struggle against fascism, we appeal 
to the toiling masses of the whole world to aid us in carrying 
out our task. 

"In Spain the Socialists, Communists, anarchists, have fought 
side by side against their class enemies. Carry out your solidarity 
action on the same broad basis of the united front of all workers, 
and of all organizations of the toiling masses." 

VI 

In the very midst of the stirring heroic battles of the Spanish 
workers, the Communist International appealed to the Labor and 
Socialist International for immediate united front actions in 
support of the embattled Spanish proletariat. On the barricades, 
Socialists and Communists were shedding their blood to stem 
the rise of fascism. Where the united front had been solidly 
34 



achieved, as in Asturias province, the workers were able to show 
the world marvels of revolutionary accomplishment. At the very 
height of the widespread fighting in Spain, workers throughout 
the world felt that flesh of their flesh was in action, and ached 
to come to their aid. To give living expression to this urgent, 
overwhelming desire for united solidarity actions, the Commu- 
nist International took the initiative. 

On October 11, both the Communist International and Young 
Communist International addressed the Socialist world bodies 
very sharply, putting forward the need for immediate, joint 
action on an international scale. 

"A victory for the fascist-monarchist reaction in Spain would", 
said the Communist International's wire to the Socialist Interna- 
tional, "- — after the seizure of power by fascism in Germany and 
Austria — mean not only immeasurable torture for the workers and 
peasants of Spain, but would signify a heavy blow for the inter- 
national proletariat. 

"Only the fighting unity of the working class of all countries 
can bring real help to the Spanish workers, and bar the road to 
Spanish and world reaction. At this decisive moment, when the 
bourgeoisie is endeavoring to shatter one of the fighting troops 
of the international working class, the Spanish proletariat, the 
Communist International calls upon its Sections to join the other 
labor organizations in the organization of mass meetings and dem- 
onstrations in solidarity with the Spanish working class." 

In order not to permit this appeal, at this critical moment, 
to be treated as a communication to be answered in due course 
by the Socialist International, the C.I. declared it was delegating 
Comrades Marcel Cachin and Maurice Thorez. leaders of the 
Communist Party of France, to negotiate immediatelv with the 
leaders of the Labor and Socialist International. 

Four days later, in response to this appeal, an historic meet- 
ing took place at Brussels between the two Communist delegates, 
and Emil \ andervelde I Belgium ) , and Friedrich Adler I Austria), 
for the Executive Committee of the L.S.I. The full text of the 
stenographic report of these conversations was published by the 
French Communist daily, UHumanite I \ovember 3. 1934 I . 
35 



Action Urged 

At the outset Vandervelde stated that their two representatives 
were present only to listen and transmit their report. Cachin 
and Thorez declared immediate action was necessary internationa- 
ally, for while they spoke, Socialists and Communists were being 
shot down by the Spanish fascists. 

Cachin declared: "We pose the question as precisely that of 
immediate action in favor of our Spanish comrades." He outlined 
the following immediate program for joint action: 

1. Organization of meetings and demonstrations jointly un- 
der the slogans: "Down with the Lerroux government! All for 
the defense of the workers and peasants of Spain in the fight 
against reaction!" 

2. Joint plan in the trade unions to stop the transportation 
of troops or ammunition for the Lerroux government. 

3. Joint action of the Socialist and Communist parliamentary 
fractions in all countries demanding the convocation of par- 
liament to protest against the barbarous executions of the Spanish 
workers. Similar action in the municipalities. 

4. Immediate material support to aid the victims of the Span- 
ish repression to be collected jointly. 

S.P. Leaders Stall 

Adler and Vandervelde hemmed and hawed, suspected Com- 
munist "maneuvers", pleaded they had no mandate to accept 
immediate action, declared that the situation in the different 
parties of the L.S.I., made prompt response out of the question. 
Vendervelde concluded by saying he believed the outlook ap- 
peared favorable, but that the matter would have to be taken up 
at the L.S.I. Executive Committee meeting in Paris on Novem- 
ber 13. 

On the day the Communist representatives met with the Social- 
ists, the Spanish workers, after five days' battle, marched into 
Oviedo, capital of Asturias province. When the Socialist Inter- 
national finally rendered its decision, on November 18, (general 
36 



Ochoa marched into the ruined city of Oviedo and shot hunderds 
of workers. 

The Communist Party in nearly all countries addressed ap- 
peals to those Socialist Parties which had not already entered 
the united front to join in actions for the support of the Spanish 
workers. 

In the United States, besides letters to the National Executive 
Committee of the Socialist Party, the Daily Worker addressed 
numerous appeals for united action — from the very first day of 
the fighting to the last day of the fighting, and repeatedly after- 
wards. There was no direct response. 

Stormy discussions featured the L.S.I.'s Paris sessions. Great 
pressure was being exerted upon all Socialist Parties by the 
working masses for the united front, especially on the concrete 
question of support to the Spanish fighters. 

There were three distinct groupings. On the one hand, there 
were the Parties who had already established the united front 
with the Communist Parties (France, Italy, Spain, the Saar) 
who were for joint international action. There were others, such 
as Belgium and Austria, who were for no international joint 
actions, but for an ending of the ban on national negotiations. 
Lastly, there were the Party officialdoms who were bitterly against 
any united action. These were primarily the Scandinavian Par- 
ties, Holland and the British Labor Party. 

Of these latter Parties, particularly the Scandinavian and 
Dutch, the leaders berated the Spanish workers for having taken 
up arms against fascism altogether. These parties proposed, if 
joint international action could not be avoided, under the pressure 
of the masses, that it shackled with the counter-revolutionary 
proposals that the Soviet Union give up the proletarian dictator- 
ship, and release the enemies of the workers' State. 

The final decision provided that it was not '"advisable" or 
"appropriate" to continue negotiations between the Internationals. 

A Step Forward 

The same letter, however, indicated a step forward. It de- 
clared on behalf of the Executive Committee of the L.S.I., that 

37 



the decision of March, 1933, forbidding unity of action with the 
Communist Parties, without approval of the International, had 
automatically expired with the new uprisings, and from now on 
"every section may carry on its negotiations in complete inde- 
pendence". 

This opens up a new vista in the struggle for the united front 
against world fascism. 

Class lines throughout the world are growing tighter, sharper, 
more bitter. The Spanish workers entered the battle against fas- 
cism bravely. Everywhere the fight must and will be taken up — 
encouraged, inspired and emboldened by the self-sacrificing dar- 
ing of the Spanish proletariat. They showed us the way to unity 
of action in its highest phases. 

In the United States fascism is no longer an article of im- 
port. It is developing rapidly, even to the extent of the actual 
creation of the armed fascist hordes. 

The united front against war and fascism has become the 
most burning question before the American working class. The 
growing response of the S.P. rank and file to the persistent 
united front proposals of the Communist Party has forced recog- 
nition from all sections of the Socialist Party leadership. It is 
attested to, particularly, by the vehement resistance to it by the 
Right wing, reactionary leadership of the Socialist Party. 

In its Boston meeting, in the latter part of November, 1934, 
the majority of the "Left" National Executive Committee of the 
Socialist Party, anxious to block the realization of the united 
front against war and fascism, did not even take the trouble to 
reply on the specific issue of united action in support of the 
Spanish proletariat, many of whom were at the very moment 
facing death, torture, or long imprisonment. 

Despite this failure, united actions in support of our Spanish 
brothers, Socialists, Communists and anarchists must be carried 
out. 

The Spanish prisons are full to overflowing. Each day sees 
the development of new battles, new strike struggles, intensified 
resistance, and at the same time, more barbarous assaults on 
38 



the workers by the Spanish landlord-bourgeoisie in its efforts to 
bolster up its fascist regime. 

In every city, in every locality, efforts must be made for 
united actions in behalf of the Spanish workers with a view to 
(1) Arranging mass demonstrations and meetings as an ex- 
pression of solidarity with the Workers' Alliance in Spain, and 
the heroic, fighting working class; (2) Demonstratitons at the 
Spanish consulates and embassy against the execution and im- 
prisonment of Socialist, Communist and anarchist prisoners; 
(3) for the collection of funds, food, clothing and other material 
aid and defense for the prisoners of fascism in Spain. 

The united front on behalf of the Spanish workers is not 
only an international necessity in the present phase of the strug- 
gle in Spain, the defensive fight against fascist terror, for the 
lives and freedom of the arrested Socialists, Communists and 
syndicalists, but is a prime requisite for speeding the future 
offensive battles. It will strengthen, furthermore, the interna- 
tional solidarity of the workers everywhere in their fight against 
fascism. 

To the extent that we can most rapidly and the most effect- 
ively establish the united front for the defense of the Spanish 
workers against fascist terror shall we be doing our utmost in 
helping to speed the day when the toiling masses of Spain will 
be able to carry their glorious revolutionary battles of October 
to a victorious conclusion. 



39 



APPENDIX 

Appeal of the Central Committee of the Communist Party 
of Spain 

The following appeal of the C.C. of the C.P. of 
Spain was published in October after the revolutionary 
fights. It contains a criticism of the tactics of the united 
front organs, the "Workers' Alliances", which in some 
localities, in addition to Communists and Socialists, also 
comprised anarchists. 

To All Workers and Peasants of Spain, Catalonia, 
the Basque Provinces and Galicia: 

The provocation of the exploiting class of Spain, which set 
up the Vatican-fascist government, called forth an outburst of 
popular indignation which has shaken the regime of the bour- 
geoisie and landowners to its very foundations. 

Tired of suffering hunger, exploitation and terror, the work- 
ers rose in order to take up the fight for bread, land and freedom. 
In very many places, especially in Asturias and Biscay, the red 
flag of revolution and Soviet Power fluttered in the breeze as 
a symbol of a new Spain, freed from misery. The heroism of 
the workers in the fight reached its highest point in the glorious 
epoch of red Asturias, where the socialist republic of the workers 
and peasants was proclaimed, which is still being maintained to- 
day, defended with the breasts and weapons of the slaves of the 
pits, in the midst of a hell of blood and machine-gun fire let loose 
by the fascist dictatorship government of Lerroux-Gil Robles, 
who sent their brutes of the Foreign Legion and the colonial 
troops to murder the brave mine-workers, to massacre their wives 
and children with artillery, to burn down their dwellings and to 
violate the proletarian women. 

Long live the courageous proletariat of Asturias! 
40 



Long live the heroic proletariat of Asturias! 

Workers ! 

The battle which has been fought is not the decisive battle. 
The executioners of the working people should not exult too 
early at their victory. We have returned to work, but we are 
ready to gather our forces again, to take up the fight again at 
a more favorable moment, and with greater confidence in victory 
than ever before. Let us learn from events and make use of the 
experience. That will strengthen us on the sure way to victory. 

The Communist Party, which flung itself into the fight with 
all its forces although it did not agree altogether with the tactics 
and methods of organization of the fight, which did not spare 
itself any effort nor shrink from sacrifices in order to place itself 
at the head of the fighting masses, now invites all workers to 
draw the lessons from this fight not only in order to solve the 
doubts and questions which today confront thousands of pro- 
letarians, but in order to arm them with the theory and correct 
tactics which will lead us to victory in the coming fights. 

Why did we not win the victory? 

Among all the exploited there was no lack of will and courage, 
determination and firmness, devotion and sacrifice. Why, then, 
did we not win the victory? Because, as our Party has repeatedly 
declared, there was not sufficient political and organizational pre- 
paration for the revolution, because its program was not brought 
to the knowledge of the whole of the working masses, because the 
advantages which the revolution will bring to the workers, the 
peasants, the soldiers and all the exploited had. not been popular- 
ized. 

The fact that the revolution cannot be simply made but 
must be organized, that the organization of the revolution cannot 
be confined to groups of volunteers who are "ready for every- 
thing", but that all the forces of the working class and the imme- 
diate allies of the revolution, the peasants, must be draivn into 
the fight — all this was ignored. 

The resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist 
Party, published in the Mundo Obrero (World of Labor) of 
September 17, stated: u The Workers 9 Alliances, as their name 



implies, arise as the organ of one of the main driving forces of 
the revolution, namely, the proletariat, which is a guiding forces 
— but they fail to recognize the second main driving force, repre- 
sented by the peasantry, without the alliance with which there 
can be no guarantee of the socialist revolution." This is the 
reason why the army, except in a few isolated cases, did not also 
join in the fight on the side of the workers. 

The overwhelming majority of the soldiers are peasants, and 
they will only go over to the side of the revolution if it satisfies 
their requirements. As they did not know what the revolution 
ivould give them, the tremendous forces of the village, for the far 
greater part, did not join the fight. 

The problem of power, the main question of every revolution, 
was not presented plainly and clearly to the proletariat and the 
masses of the peasantry. The greater majority of them therefore 
did not know into whose hands and into what organs they had to 
place power, and what power meant for them. There was lacking 
a program — this force which, when it becomes embodied in the 
masses, causes them to defy death in order that the program 
shall be realized in life. 

In the above-mentioned resolution of the C.C. of the C.P. 
it is stated: 

'The fight to smash the regime of the bourgeoisie and land- 
owners and for the power of the workers and peasants presup- 
pose* the political and organizational preparation of the masses 
for the achievement of this aim. Therefore, the propaganda of 
the program of the workers' and peasants' government, setting 
forth that which the victorious revolution will give to the working 
people, must be intensified among the working masses in town 
and country." 

The facts have confirmed the correctness of this estimate. 
In order to throw the whole mass of the toiling people into the 
fight, it is necessary that they be previously permeated with the 
program, which must become the flag of the advance-guard, 
summoning them to the fight. As this was not the case, the 
enormous forces represented by the proletariat in every factory, 
42 



in every mine and every field, were untapped. For this reason 
neither factory committees nor committees of peasants nor the 
Alliances were set up in every place where exploitation took place 
— in which workers, peasants and soldiers should be directly 
represented — that is to say. organs for preparation of the armed 
revolt, embryonic organs of power of the victorious revolution 
i Soviets I . 

The fact that all this was lacking is not due to chance. 
It was in accordance with an unclear view of tactics. There was 
lacking both the theory and practice of the revolution. There teas 
lacking the unity and iron discipline which must characterize 
the party of the revolution. Within the Socialist Party there are 
to be found devoted revolutionaries together with elements which 
do not conceal their hostility to any revolutionary action. This 
fact was bound to be reflected in a number of vacillations in 
regard to directions and some confused and contradictory in- 
structions. 

This was the reason for the terrible mistake that the gen- 
eral strike was not carried out before the formation of the 
hangmen's government of Lerroux. This meant that the initiative 
was left in the hands of the enemy. 

Another terrible mistake was to entrust the issue of the fight 
to such vacillating persons as Companys and his like, who out of 
fear of the development of the people's revolution capitulated to 
the forces of the enemy, or to the Republican army commanders, 
instead of the united masses of the workers. In order to ensure 
the victory of the revolution it is necessary that the leadership 
of the revolution shall remain in all its forms in the hands of 
the exploited. That is the only guarantee of victory. Our heroic 
comrades in Asturias and the Basque province have proved this. 
"The emancipation of the working class can only be the work of 
the workers themselves" (Marx). This fact was not realized in 
its whole significance. 

Comrades anarchists, take note! 

The Communist Party endeavored in good time to correct 
these errors, and persisted in its endeavors in the course of the 
fight, \evertheless. in spite of the seriousness of the errors, the 
43 



situation would not have developed in favor of the monarchist- 
fascist canaille if, above all, the anarchist leaders of Barcelona 
and Saragossa had not committed their shameful act of betrayal 
of the revolution at the very moment when all the exploited of 
Spain were fighting like lions with weapons in hand. 

It is not merely the civil guards and storm guards, not only 
the monarchist and fascist officers, not merely the machine guns 
which for the moment decided the battle in favor of the blackest 
reaction. 

To the everlasting shame of the anarchist leaders, it 
was their appeals, which they issued from the general head- 
quarters of the fascist Batet in Barcelona. The leaders of the 
Anarchist Federation prevented the victory of the revolution. 
They sold their own anarchist comrades who, in Asturias, Madrid 
and other places, realized their duty to their class and fought 
bravely together with their Communist and Socialist brothers. 

It is these anarchist leaders who are chiefly responsible for 
the present situation. Do not forget this, comrades anarchists! 

From what has already been said it is evident why the peasants 
did not seize possession of and defend the land, uniting with the 
proletariat in the fight, and why the great majority of the soldiers 
did not fraternize with the workers and go over to the revolution. 
Therefore the counter-revolutionary pack was able to tear down 
the red flag of the revolution and hoist the black flag of tlie death 
penalty, suppress all the democratic liberties of the working 
people, pounce like jackals onto the defeated districts in Cata- 
lonia and in the Basque province, entrust power into the hands 
of the fascist monarchists and return to the monarchist-militarist- 
jesuit past. 

Everything that is reactionary and backward in society, the 
whole combined forces of counter-revolution, are hastening to 
celebrate their triumph. But they are in too much of a hurry. 
They can shoot, imprison, increase the misery and hunger among 
the working people still more, but the hungry will not become 
satisfied by fasts, the pains and tears of the mothers and women 
of the people will not be stopped by the whips and blows of 
the civil and storm guards. It is impossible to satisfy the people 
44 



with blows of the butts of rifles and bayonet stabs, nor to hold 
back with the voice of command of the arrogant generals the 
disaster to industry and agriculture which the Lerroux regime 
has brought. 

The workers want bread and work; the peasants want land; 
the whole people want freedom. In the heart of every worker and 
every peasant there lives the will to fight and take revenge. The 
class hatred against this regime of hunger, misery and terror is 
spreading — below the surface — and sullen hatred is germinating 
in the depths of the working masses, which will break out — and 
this not before long. Taught by these events, these masses are 
being better steeled for the fight, better organized to march for- 
ward to victory under the leadership of their class advance-guard. 

The fight is not yet at an end. 

This is proved by the fact that the band of clerical-fascist 
hangmen are far from having mastered the situation. In Asturias 
the proletarian legions are continuing their heroic fight. The 
same can be said of the mining district of Biscay. Today the 
proletarian forces are retreating, but at the same time are pre- 
paring to employ new fighting tactics based on a new organiza- 
tion. 

The great battle for bread, land, and freedom has not yet 
been fought. The Workers' and Peasants' Alliances are being 
formed in the working-class centers. We shall convert every fac- 
tory into a stronghold of the revolution. We have fought unitedly 
and we shall advance unitedly more firmly than ever. We shall 
discuss in a brotherly manner the experiences, the positive sides 
and the mistakes of the past fight, but nothing can destroy the 
unity of action of the Communist and Socialist workers. And we 
shall continue in our endeavors to draw to our side the anarchist 
workers who have so clearly perceived the shameful attitude of 
their leaders in this movement. 

We shall continue unitedly to defend tooth and nail the heroes 
of red Asturias and the Basque provinces, to prevent reprisals 
by the fascist employers. We shall continue united in the fight 
against the government, against the death penalty and against 
the monarchist-clerical-fascist reaction; united in order to support 
45 



the prisoners, to fight for land for the peasants, for freedom of 
the press, of meeting and the trade unions, for the freedom for 
the people of Catalonia and all suppressed nations, for the dis- 
arming of the fascist hordes and for the arming of the workers 
and peasants; united to form a single anti-fascist bloc and for 
the power of the workers, peasants and soldiers. 

Socialist and anarchist workers! 

The facts have shown the correctness of our political line, of 
our tactics and our revolutionary fighting tactics. They have 
proved once again that there can be only one party of the revolu- 
tion, and that this party is the party which bases its activity on 
the tremendous experiences of two glorious and victorious revolu- 
tions, of Russia and Soviet China. Everywhere where our forces 
predominate, as in Asturias and the Basque provinces, the form 
of organization and tactics made possible glorious achievements 
which today are the pride of all revolutionaries of Spain. Our 
Party, in spite of the reactionary storm which is raging around it, 
remains at the head of the fight of the oppressed masses. More 
than ever their firm hands are grasping the flag of socialist revo- 
lution against the cowardly calumniators and against the lackeys 
of capital. And thus, as in the past, they are holding aloft this 
flag on which is inscribed the battle cry for land, bread and 
freedom, the battle cry of the Soviets, for the triumph of 
Socialism. 

For the first time in the history of the Spanish revolution the 
flag of the Soviets has been raised and defended in the revolu- 
tionary fight against the bourgeois-landlord regime. In Asturias 
the Socialist Republic lived and still lives on the basis of the 
Soviets. 

A new chapter has commenced in the history of the pro- 
letariat and of the peasant masses of Spain. Today the prole- 
tariat knows from its own experience that only under the flag of 
the Soviets can it conquer. The future fights will be waged under 
this sign, and we shall be victorious. 

Comrades all, keep a stout heart! Today let us more than 
ever maintain faith in victory! Let us close our ranks firmly, 
courageously and calmly, collect our forces, maintain discipline. 
46 



Let us extend our battalions! Strengthen the advance-guard of 
the fight, come into the Communist Party! Workers, peasants, 
soldiers, gather round our flag and let us march in firm ranks to 
victory ! 

Long live the workers' and peasants' government! 

Long live the Soviets! 

Long live the proletariat united in the Alliance of the workers 
and peasants! 

Long live the world revolution and its general staff, the Com- 
munist International! 

Long live the Communist Party of Spain! 

Communist Party of Spain 



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